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Re: [APD] Re: Re: Amazon Swords -- or - Boarding House Rules

Adding Echinodorus speecies (swords) to a tank that has
mostly slow growing plants can present a marked change.
Swords tend to gobble up nutrients and their introduction
can shift a tank that has relatively stable levels of
available nutrients to one that begs for more.

It sounds like your lighting level is moderate and swords
like E. bleheri, osiris, rubin . . . will grow much more
slowly than they would at higher lighting levels. Still
they will soak up nutrients faster than many other plants
under that same lighting level. For example, introducing
swords to a tank with Java Fern hat has been performing
well can result in depressed performance of the Java unless
you maintain nutrient levels by upping the doses a bit to
satisfy the new hungrier mouths you've brought to the
table. The stronger, hungrier mouths tend to grab most of
the food as fast as it's put on the table.

However, if the other plants are very strong and have a
good supply of reserves, while the swords are store bought
and converting from immersed growth to emersed growth, then
the swords can show hunger signs sooner than the rest.
Emersed grown swords without strong stores of nutrients,
when moved from an adequate to a weak supply of nutrients
can have a difficult time getting established. Once they
do, they can "run ahead" of the other plants in the tank.

Personally, I prefer dosing individual macro ferts into the
water column rather than using tablets -- I find this makes
it easier to keep the individual ferts within range. But
people have success with swords putting ferts in the
substrate. One hypothesis is that putting ferts in the
substrate near the swords will reduce how much they deplete
the water column, leaving more nutrients in the water
column available to plants that must live off of the water
column (say, Java Fern, anubias, floating plants, etc.).

Planttabs are the Aq. Pharmaceuticals fert product, yes?
Iirc, they're a bit high in phosphate but if you are mainly
using those for ferts along with comemrical fish food
(which I find to be relatively high on nitrogen and weak on
phosphates and potassium), the overall balance probably
might come out pretty good.

Scott H.

--- Lief Brittan Youngs <liefy at yahoo_com> wrote:

> My substrate is just plain aquarium gravel about 4+
> inches deep. Since my plants were doing okay when I ran
> out of Planttabs I decided not to buy any more. Should I?
> It has only been since I added the Amazon Sword that any
> plants have been having problems. What fertilizers and
> frequency of application do you recommend or others
> recommend? Should I look for a second fertilizer that has
> lots of Nitrogen? I really like the Amazon Sword and
> would hate to see it die. I got it from my roommate in a
> plant trade and would love to see it get really big.
> I give twelve hours of light at 45 watts on a 29 gallon
> tank. All of my other plants are growing like weeds. I
> also have plenty of fish in the tank, 5+ platies (many
> babies), a few swordtails, two gruamies, a tiger barb, 4
> skunk botias, a green cory catfish, and a handfull or two
> of snails.

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The Annual AGA Convention, 2004, November 12-14, hosted by GWAPA.org
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